UK - Pensioners from the £1bn Thorn Pension Fund have won the first round in the battle to get back part of the surplus they believe is owed to them.
An OPRA committee has decided that the pensioners have the right to a full hearing on whether Japanese bank Nomura - which bought Thorn in 1998 - was right to take 65% of the £100m surplus, even though it never contributed to the scheme.
The OPRA committee ruled that the scheme’s trustees had not given members adequate notice of the changes in its its modification order, as set out in the 1995 Pensions Act.
The committee said that the modification order would stand until the full five-day hearing in July.
Thorn and EMI Group Pensioners' Association chairman Eric Champion said: “It was very fair. All parties were reasonably happy with the ruling.”
The pensioners are looking for Nomura to give them at least half of the surplus.
At the tail-end of 2000 Nomura made the decision to switch the fund into bonds to cover its liabilities as it had few active members left in the pension fund. It claims that it is taking its 65% portion of the surplus to ensure it can cover scheme liabilities in future.
By Paul Sanderson
Jonathan Stapleton asks whether newly-accredited professional trustees should be a statutory fixture on pension scheme boards.
Savers are being warned by the Insolvency Service to guard their pension pots from investment scammers and negligent trustees as it winds up 24 companies.
Respondents say they should only be required in certain situations as the system is not broken.